Mental illness is one of the top public health challenges in Europe.
In August 2012 the Scottish Government unveiled its new Mental Health Strategy as an attempt to bring together its improvement work and efforts to improve services for people suffering from these issues.
The document revealed its plans to work with partners to respond “to the ongoing challenge of improving mental health and wellbeing and ensuring improved services and outcomes for individuals and communities over the period to 2015”.
It identified seven key target themes:
n More effective working with families and carers.
n Embedding more peer-to-peer work and support.
n Increasing the support for self-management and self-help approaches.
n Extending the anti-stigma agenda to include further work on discrimination.
n Focusing on the rights of those with mental illness.
n Developing the outcomes approach to include personal, social and clinical outcomes.
n Ensuring new technology is used effectively as a mechanism for providing information and delivering evidence based services.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Scotland was the first country in the UK to have a waiting time target for psychological therapies, and we are continuing to work closely with boards to ensure that plans are in place to meet these targets.
“Demand for mental health services has increased in recent years, mainly due to better diagnosis and more people being prepared to come forward to ask for help. That is why we have committed an additional £15 million over the next three years to include more staff to work in child and adolescent mental health services, and the establishment of a mental health innovation fund.”